Editor's Note
Reinventing the wheel
For the past four elections when Filipinos overseas were allowed to vote in national elections, a number of community organizations in Hong Kong have always sat down with Consulate officials on getting as many people to register and vote as possible.

This is a time-honored tradition that started when the late Ambassador Doy Lucenario who was then second in command in Hong Kong, took up the challenge of getting Filipinos here to unite in exercising their right of suffrage. Details...

Anak Araw
Usapang Aldub, atbp.
Ang Aldub, na patuloy na nagtatatak ng bagong record sa social media, ay isang phenomenon na pinag-uusapan ng marami sa atin. Hindi lamang humahanga at kinikilig sa suyuan ng dalawang taong tila tunay na nagmamahalan, ang tinagurian nating Aldub Nation ay napaka-organisadong kumilos at hindi matatawaran ang malasakit at dedikasyon. Details...

Migrant's Forum
Prerequisite to investing
It is truly exciting to explore the various ways we can grow our money and ensure financial stability and freedom after many years of hard work and sacrifice away from family and loved ones. Details...

Know Your Rights
Collection of illegal and exorbitant agency fees continues
Before December 2006, all Filipinos leaving the country for overseas work were required to pay a placement/recruitment agency fee of not more than the equivalent of a month's salary based on the overseas job contract. In reality, nine out of 10 Filipino migrant workers arriving in Hong Kong were paying double, sometimes triple, and even quadruple, their monthly salary. Details...


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Manila gets ready for Apec
Despite tensions with the Philippine government over the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea, China's President Xi Jinping will be in Manila on November 17 to 19 to join US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and 17 other world leaders for the 23th Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) Leaders' Summit.
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Filipino lesbians, out and proud
Some 200 migrants joined the march to support the Filipino LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups on the first Migrants Pride Parade they organized in Hong Kong on Nov. 8. The parade, held on a Sunday, came a day after a much bigger crowd took part in the annual Gay Pride march attended by thousands of people across the city.
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Lawyer's heart

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Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Nobyembre sa iyo

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Your Daily News   
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  May 2013 Hong Kong News   
Filipina appeals removal order to be with resident kid
A Filipina fighting to remain in Hong Kong to be with her underage daughter who holds permanent resident status here has elevated her battle to the Court of Appeal.

Milagros Tecson Comilang, a former domestic helper, has appealed a decision of the Court of First Instance rejecting her challenge to the Director of Immigration's repeated refusal to extend her permission to stay in the territory.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment after hearing arguments on Apr. 16.

The lower court ruling, which was handed down in June last year, also denied Comilang's petition for a judicial review of the Commissioner of Registration's rejection of her application for a Hong Kong permanent identity card.

The outcome of the case could have serious implications for all Filipino children who have been granted right of abode, but whose parents do not share this status. Such is the case of about two dozen children of Filipino domestic workers who were granted permanent residency about three to four years ago.

At the appeal hearing, Comilang's counsel, Gladys Li, SC, described the legal proceeding before Justices Peter Cheung, Frank Stock and Joseph Paul Fok as a special case involving a child who is underage, a minority and who requires the constant presence of a parent.

Comilang first came to the city in 1997. Shortly after her last contract was terminated on July 13, 2005, she underwent an Islamic marriage with a certain Shaker Ahmed, a Hong Kong permanent resident. She subsequently applied for a change of her immigration status to remain in the city as a dependant of her husband.

Pending the processing of her application, the Director of Immigration did not extend Comilang's permission to stay, which expired on Oct. 10, 2005.

Then, in February 2006, the already overstaying Comilang gave birth to Zahrah Ahmed, who acquired permanent resident status through her father and by virtue of her being born in Hong Kong.

Ahmed, the husband, was subsequently discovered to be in a subsisting marriage at the time he married Comilang. He later withdrew his sponsorship of the Filipina's change of status application.

Since then, Comilang has resisted several orders for her leave so she could stay with her daughter, whom she wants to remain in the territory to enjoy her rights as a permanent resident. The child is a co-applicant in the case.

While recognizing the state's right to control who stays in Hong Kong, Li argued that the immigration department should allow a custodial parent the right to stay in the interest of the child.

The Court, warned Li, should consider the impact of their decision because, in compelling Comilang to leave, the child essentially loses her right of abode.

Li also questioned the fairness of allowing unmarried children below 18 years of age to be dependants of parents, and yet denying the same right to a resident child and her parent.

On the other hand, Anderson Shek, counsel for the Director of Immigration, wanted the Court to clarify what a child's right of abode entailed.

"To what extent can (the child's right of abode) be relied upon (by) the mother (who has) no right of abode?" asked Shek.

Foreign nationals are allowed to sponsor their relatives as dependants. In exceptional cases, the Director of Immigration also has the discretion to allow other foreign nationals to stay in Hong Kong on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

However, in the appealed 50-page judgment, Presiding Justice Johnson Lam had stated that the courts will not lightly interfere with the Director's exercise of discretion and that "humanitarian considerations are not reviewable in courts" (Lau Kong Yung vs Director Immigration [1999]).

Judge Lam also ruled that it was not necessary for the court to come to any conclusion on the impact of the refusal of Tecson's extension of stay on the future of Zahrah Ahmed.

He further rejected the argument that Comilang needed to leave Hong Kong with her daughter, simply because she had custody of the child.

"The Family Court has jurisdiction to reconsider the question of custody when (Comilang) has to leave Hong Kong. One option is to grant custody to the father. Another option is to grant leave to relocation. It is entirely a matter for the Family Court to decide in view of the prevailing circumstances and the best interest of the child," said Justice Lam.

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